very beginning they were going to be together, but Edith’s mother always said “He’s too old for you.” Needless to say, they were married. As the old saying goes, they “married on a shoe string." Elmer and Edith started farming on the Cooper farm located between his home place and her home place. It was hard for Edith since they did not have running water and electric lights which she was used to at home. They were living in a new house and did get both running water and electricity the Christmas before their son was born in 1948.

Elmer and Edith raised 5 children in those rough “Depression years”. There were many Sundays they stayed home because there was no gas for the car. They often had to tell the children this as they were growing up. Staying home was different than it is now. They did not have a newspaper, radio or television. They entertained themselves doing anything that did not cost money.

Elmer and Edith's first child, Linda Kay was the “apple of her Daddy’s eye.” Lois Ann came along 15 months later and stole some of the affection from her big sister. Later a son, Lyle Elmer, was born. He turned out to be the “pet” of the family. Lyle liked anything that looked like a horse or resembled a car or motorcycle. Fifteen months after Lyle was born, Lana Marie arrived. Lana was the only one of the children with dark hair. Finally, 4 years later Lorna Jean  came along. She was another blonde.

Elmer and Edith worked very hard and the years on the farm went all too fast. They farmed 197 acres, milked cows and raised hogs, chickens and laying hens. They also had a large garden and did a lot of canning and freezing of fruits and vegetables. Edith remembers all the meals she made for workmen. There was forenoon coffee, dinner at noon and then afternoon coffee. Five o'clock was suppertime. The cows were milked after that and if they wanted to work until dark, they would hoe the garden or mow the lawn. The children all had to pitch in and help with the work. Linda would drive the tractor and Lois would go into the hay mow with her Dad. Lyle did anything, wherever he was needed. Edith kept busy washing, ironing, cooking, baking, etc. She remembers Elmer coming in the house and telling her she should have the lunch out for the men in just a few minutes. Elmer’s mother was there and her answer to her son was “You have to give her time to pick the baked stuff off the trees.”

In 1965 Elmer decided to quit farming and move to Decorah. No, he was not planning to retire, he was just going to get off the farm. The farm sale was scheduled for 11 Jan 1966, but the first of January Elmer was laid up in the hospital. He got his foot in the auger box and it took his big toe off. The sale went on as planned with the help of friends and neighbors. Elmer missed his own sale, but his sister thought it was 'a blessing from God' because Elmer would never have been able to see his “Brown Swiss" milk cows sold.

In Feb 1966 Elmer and Edith moved into the home they had bought on the West Side in Decorah. That is where Edith still lives. The move was not a mistake; it worked out for the best for everyone. Elmer worked at various places and towards the end of his life he worked at the sale barn — with cattle again. Edith worked at the Cliff House for a short time and at Luther College for 12 years.

Those years were both happy and sad. Their son, Lyle, became ill with cancer and fought it all through his college years. He attended Waldorf College, Forest City for 2 years and then went on to the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls for another year and a half. Lyle died 11 Jun 1971.

Elmer and Edith belonged to the Zion Lutheran Church, Castalia until 1950 when they changed to Washington Prairie Church because they could exchange rides to Sunday School and Confirmation classes with neighbors. Edith still belongs to Washington Prairie Church where Elmer and Lyle are buried. Elmer died 20 Apr 1989 after being ill with kidney failure for 5 years. He died 4 months before their Golden Wedding Anniversary.

Gipp, Lorna Jean

(Lorna Jean Gipp)

Lorna Jean Gipp, the youngest child of Elmer and Edith (Sersland) Gipp, was born in Decorah  She graduated from Thomas Roberts Senior High School, Decorah on 21 May 1972. Lorna then enrolled in the Dental Assistant Course at Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, IA. She graduated in Aug 1973.

In Apr 1974 Lorna moved to Minneapolis, MN where she worked for a dentist for 6 months. In Dec 1974 she began working for a food broker where she has worked since.

Gjermo, Lars and Julia (Tobiason)

(Alice Hamre Arneson)

Bio Photo

Photo taken by Henry Morton Arneson, son of Inger and Ole. Rear: Inger Tobiason Arneson, Julia Tobiason Gjermo, Bertha Tobiason Marsh. Front: Mr. Rockne, holding his daughter Florence, Mrs. Rockne (mother of Knut Rockne), Arthur H. Arneson and his father Ole T Arneson.

Julia Mathilde Tobiason was born 23 Nov 1868 and died 4 Jan 1946. She was the sixth child of Tobias and Mari (Henrickson) Tobiason. (See separate aricle on them.) Lars Pederson Gjermo was born 6 Apr 1869 in

Partial OCR transcription, some sensitive personal information such as birth dates of people that maybe living is not included. See the associated scan to compare with the published information.

Please, contact the County Coordinator to submit additions or corrections.

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this page was last updated on Sunday, 28 March 2021